International Culture Challenge - Rules

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OQL ICC Mimir Rules

The OQL International Culture Challenge uses the Mimir quiz format (named after Mímir, a Norse god renowned for his knowledge and wisdom). Matches are played between four players, with their respective positions (in seats 1 to 4) drawn at random.

Game play

  1. The quiz will take place in a Zoom room created by your quizmaster (QM). Each week, you will be drawn in a match with 3 other players. You will compete against each other over 5 rounds of questions, in each of which all four players will each be asked 3 questions.
  2. All questions will appear on screen on the scoring app. This excludes tie-breaks and spares, which will be pasted into the Zoom chat.
  3. Players score 1 point for each one of their own questions they answer correctly. Players have a maximum of 30 seconds to answer each of their own questions starting from the moment the reading stops. Players may pass their own questions as early as they like after the original reading has been finished. A player may not pass during the original reading of the question but may pass immediately once a repeat has finished. By ‘repeat’, we mean here a request for either the entirety of a question to be repeated or a part thereof.
  4. Any question that a player fails to convert, either by answering incorrectly or passing, will be opened up to the other players for a bonus point. When players are offered a chance to answer an opponent’s unconverted question, the player may choose to attempt an answer or pass. If choosing to attempt an answer, the player must answer immediately that that player’s name is called; any hesitation of more than 3 seconds will be taken to be a pass.
    1. There are strict rules in determining the order in which players may attempt an answer to an opponent’s unconverted question. All players begin, naturally, with zero ‘bonus attempts’ and each time a player attempts to answer to an opponent’s unconverted question (rather than passing) that player accumulates a further ‘bonus attempt’. The player who has the fewest bonus attempts gets the first chance at answering an opponent’s unconverted question.
    2. If two or more players have accumulated the same number of bonus attempts, the question will be asked first to whichever of those players is seated in the next seat along from the player who failed to convert the original question. The next seat along from player 2 is, for example, player 3, then player 4, then player 1. If players 1 and 3 have each accumulated one bonus attempt and player 4 has accumulated two bonus attempts, then Player 2’s unconverted question will first be asked to Player 3, then to Player 1, and finally to Player 4.
    3. It is important to note that bonus attempts are accumulated when a player attempts an answer to an opponent’s unconverted question, regardless of whether his or her answer is correct or not. Bonus attempts are not accumulated by passing when an opponent’s question is offered, and neither are they accumulated when a player attempts to answer his or her own questions.
  5. At the end of 5 rounds, the quiz is over and the player with the most points is declared the winner. In the event of a tie for 1st place then the tied players will answer the same 3 tiebreak questions (in separate break-out rooms) to try and split the tie. If still level, a further 3 questions are asked, and if the players can still not be separated then a nearest the bull question will be used to break the tie. If there is a tie for 2nd or 3rd places (prior to the knockout stages) then the players will not engage in a tiebreak; instead, those players will share the available points. All tie-break questions should be pasted into the chat for each player.
  6. Should a spare question be required, the reader should ask the relevant player to pick a number between 1 and 3 and that player will receive the relevant spare question.


  1. Each quiz consists of 60 questions, consisting of 15 ‘quads’. A quad is a series of four questions, usually of similar difficulty on a related topic. Each player will be asked one question from each of the 15 quads. So if you were to be asked a question on a Russian lake then you can expect all 3 of your opponents to each get a question on either Russian geography or on lakes.

League structure

  1. The winner of each match receives 4 league points. The player who finishes in 2nd place receives 3 league points, the player in 3rd place 2 points, and the player in 4th place gets 1 point.
  2. If a player misses one of their games during the first six weeks, he or she will be awarded 1 point and will be judged to have answered zero questions correctly. If a player misses a 2nd game (other than in exceptional circumstances) that player will be disqualified from the knockout stages. Any player missing multiple matches in a season may be disqualified from future seasons depending on the circumstances and this will be decided at the sole discretion of the organising team.
  3. The first week will be seeded, with each match containing one seed and three non-seeds.
    1. In weeks two and three, players will play against other players in their half of the leaderboard. In weeks four, five, and six players will play against others in their quarter of the leaderboard.
    2. After 6 weeks of matches, players will be ranked into groups of 16. The top 16 players will play for the Tier 1 title, the next 16 for the Tier 2 title, and so on. From this point on, the matches will be knock outs, with the top 2 players progressing to the next round, until we get to the final of each Tier; the winners of these finals will be awarded the Tier title.
  4. Players eliminated during the knockout stages will play placement matches, meaning that everyone will play nine games.
  5. If players are tied in the league table, they will be separated in the following manner:
    1. Firstly, most own questions answered correctly
    2. Secondly, most questions answered correctly overall
    3. Thirdly, fewest bonus attempts
    4. Fourthly, most games won

Organising matches

  1. Draws will take place on Sunday evenings and will normally been streamed live on Facebook. Players will be officially informed of their opponents following the draw and will need to organise their match for some time prior to the following Sunday night (games can be played early on Sunday, but must be completed by 7.30pm UK time). Players should be as flexible as possible to try to ensure that a suitable time can be found for all players.
  2. Players must respond to their scheduling email within 36 hours of it being sent. If a player has not responded within 36 hours then the other three players may organise a time that suits them without needing confirmation from the uncommunicative player.
  3. Players will then request a QM via the website. Once someone has agreed to read, the QM will need to arrange a Zoom call for the match to be played. A scoring tool will be used by the QM which will automatically submit the results to the administration team. Please check that these scores are correct.
  4. If you have played your match that week then you are free to read any games for the rest of the week. Reading a match will see you receive a £2.50 credit, which can be redeemed against any future OQL fees. This credit is not capped, so if you read often enough you could find yourself quizzing for life for free with OQL!


  1. All questions will include valid alternative answers.
  2. Players may answer in their own language. OQL will provide QMs with translations of answers into Dutch, French, German, Croatian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Romanian, and Swedish.
    1. Unless players are certain they know the English answer, players are strongly advised to answer in their own language rather than to attempt translations into English. If answering in a language other than English players should preface their answer with the language in which they intend to answer by saying, ‘In Norwegian xxxx’, or ‘In Romanian xxxx’, etc. Please be prepared to spell your answer if it is not clear to the QM whether or not your answer is correct.
  3. QMs will have sole discretion on whether to accept an answer that is close to the correct answer. QMs should reward clear knowledge; if it is apparent that a player knows an answer but has pronounced it slightly incorrectly or, perhaps, missed out a word which does not fundamentally change the answer, then it should be accepted. For example, a player answering "The Old Man Of The Sea" should be adjudicated to have given a correct answer even though the book title is, to be exact, “The Old Man And The Sea".
  4. If a player strongly disagrees with a QM’s decision, that player may lodge an appeal with the QM. The game will carry on to its conclusion and the appeal will be passed onto the Editing Team (Rob Hannah and Hugh Bennett) who will make a final decision.
    1. QMs’ decisions will be overturned only where an egregious error has occurred and will not be overturned on matters of judgement.

Technical Issues

  1. If a player unexpectedly loses connection during a question, that question will proceed as normal. Once that question has finished, the QM will wait a maximum of two minutes for the affected player to reconnect before restarting the game.


  1. If a player has not arrived by the designated start time, the QM is instructed to wait 10 minutes before starting the match; that can be extended to 15 minutes with the agreement of the other players (but there is no expectation that players should agree to this if it is inconvenient).
  2. Once a game has started, the missing player may not join and will be considered absent from that match. Should a player be struggling to make an arranged time, he/she can arrange for the match to be played at another time if the other players can agree on a new time. If the players cannot agree a new time, then the game will go on as originally arranged without that player.
  3. If a game is played with only 2 or 3 players the game will play as follows. The match should proceed as normal until it is time for the absent players questions to be asked. The reader will announce who is first in the bonus line and that player has a maximum of 15 seconds in which to answer or pass. Should they answer correctly they receive the point and the host moves on to the next question, again announcing who is first in line. If they answer and are wrong then a bonus attempt is noted and it is passed down the line. The next player has 3 seconds to answer plus any of the 15 seconds which the first player did not use. If they also pass or are incorrect then the final player also has 3 seconds to answer plus any of the 15 seconds which was not used by the first two players. The scoring is altered slightly for short handed matches. Players still receive, 4, 3, 2 and 1 points for their finish position and their own correct answers remain as they were, however, total points and bonus points are scaled down by a factor of 0.75 to account for the extra bonus attempts allowed by the empty seat. In two player matches these are scaled down by a factor of 0.5.
  4. Should a player miss a game they will receive 1 league point and 0 for all the other stats. Should a player miss more than 1 game in a season then they will not be permitted to qualify through the first of the knock out stages. They will be allowed to play all their matches but the highest position in which they can finish in their tier is 9th. This is because any player who misses two or more games will likely end up in a tier much lower than their actual ability. OQL reserves the right to refuse entry to future events to any player who misses multiple games in one season.


  1. Players should not use any outside resources, such as Google or friends, to help them during the quiz. If anyone is found to be cheating, they will be removed from the competition.
  2. Players should keep both hands in view at all times while questions are live and should allow them to fall off screen only for very short periods, such as to pick up a cup while the questions are not live. The easiest way to ensure compliance is to sit a little further back from the screen or to rest hands on the chin. QMs will be asked to ensure this rule is being followed, and please do not be offended if your fellow players remind you of the need to comply.
  3. If players are taking notes during a game they should make the QM aware of this fact before the game and both the notepad and pen must be entirely visible to the QM during play.
  4. The OQL reserves the right to exclude from the competition any players who are thought to be intentionally breaking the rules.